Visit to the money factory, Washington D.C., USA

How Americans make money?

money manufacturing


US Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP), Washington D. C., USA.
Tour report of visit to factory that is manufacturing American currency!  The world’s leading securities manufacturer.
Located in the heart of the Nation’s Capital, the BEP’s Washington, DC Tour and Visitor Center is a great place to learn all about U.S. paper currency.  We were excited to see millions of dollars being printed, as we walked along the viewing gallery above, overlooking the production floor.  An hour’s experience includes an introductory film and a gallery tour of the production process.
Money factory visit

Engraving and printing

We could get lots of information about how money is made (Pun intended).   Once inside, there was information about the institution and its services, such as coin engraving and money printing, among the designing of the money and other additional solutions.  We saw the printing Intaglio press right from the blank paper (raw material) to quality assurance check, to cutting, automatic packing and so forth.  It was truly an unforgettable experience of a life time, to see millions of dollars being staked right in front of us.  We also learnt about the history of money, how to recognize fake money, and the main differences with real bills (money).

US dollar printing pressA few questions were asked to our tour guide: Q – why it is necessary to print millions of dollars every day?  Ans – 90% – 95% money is given to bank in exchange of soiled or spoiled notes.
Q – What do you do with the damaged notes?  Ans – The serial number is deleted from the database, the damaged notes are then shredded.  The shredded paper is sold back as souvenir in the exhibition gallery (at the exit), then he said “we make money out of the shredded money” and we smiled.   Here is a picture showing the outer core of a candle, contains approximately $500 in real shredded U.S. Currency, bought from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
If you are in Washington DC, you should plan a visit (early morning), to educate yourself about the advancements and history of our currency.  You will get rare chance to see the BEP’s business in a manner many people would never be able to experience.
Candle made out of dollar bills

Damaged notes are shredded

The mission of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is to design and manufacture high quality security documents that deter counterfeiting and meet customer requirements for quality, quantity and performance. As its primary function, the BEP prints billions of dollars – referred to as Federal Reserve Notes – each year for delivery to the Federal Reserve System.  The Federal Reserve operates as the nation’s central bank and serves to ensure that adequate amounts of currency and coin are in circulation. The BEP also advises other Federal agencies on document security matters. In addition, the BEP processes claims for the redemption of mutilated currency. The BEP’s research and development efforts focus on the continued use of automation in the production process and counterfeit deterrent technologies for use in security documents, especially United States currency.

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